Friday, June 20, 2008

Yarn Purchases

Yarn can get really expensive, but there are ways to bargain hunt for yarn. Usually yarn will go on sale at some point between January and March. This is when stores are trying to clear out their cold weather yarns for warmer weather yarns. I've found a few websites that have quality yarns for good prices. I have not bought from all of these, but I have found them to have good reputations from friends.

Knit Picks - Sells only their own brand of yarn. It is good quality for a fair price. I love their podcast.
Elann - Great Discounts if you know what you want.
Webs - Has a local store in addition to the on-line one; Great discounts when buying in quantity.
Discount Yarn Sale - Great Discounts, but must buy a whole bag.

I like these on-line sources, but I think it is important to support local yarn shops. Local yarn shops may be more expensive, but they do allow us to touch and feel yarn. They are great resources to learn about yarn as well as to take classes to learn new yarnin skills.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Tips & Tricks - Needles

In the spirit of one of my favorite blogs:  Tip Junkie

I thought I'd share my tips on needles. I think that circular needles are easier on your wrists when you are making a big project, allow you to knit in a compact area, and you can push your work to the middle cord when you aren't knitting so if a little one picks the needles up you are less likely to lose your work.  For beginners, I recommend circular needles with bamboo or wooden tips.  The picture above is an example.  The bamboo tips are "sticky" so you are less likely to lose stitches when you are beginning.  

I prefer metal tips because it helps me to knit faster.  My favorites are Addi Turbos although I did buy a Boye  Needlemaster from Ebay.  This allows me to create whatever needles I need although I do have remember to tighten the needle tips every now and then.  While the needlemaster has its own organizer, for my other circular needles, I bought a binder that is made to store tackle from Bass Pro Shops.  Check this out.  This is basic and inexpensive although you could find something more stylish if you looked.